When to look for an assisted living home

When to start looking for an assisted living facility

If you are concerned about whether your loved one is capable of caring for his or her self it may be time to consider an assisted living home.  But when is the right time to look for an assisted living home?  Experts recommend you begin your search six months to a year before you plan to move your loved one.  This gives you plenty of time to do your research and find the right home where your loved one will thrive.

Prior to starting your search do you “home” work.  Pay attention to your loved one and make the assessment of the level of care he or she will need?  Are they capable of taking care of the majority of their day to day tasks but need help with remembering medications, doing laundry, or simply having a healthy and filling meal?  Maybe your family member has social needs and is missing out of having someone to chat with, play games with or simply enjoy doing crafts together and interacting on a day-to-day basis.  These are indicators that it may be time to start looking for a new place for your loved one to call home.

When touring assisted living facilities note how the staff and administrators interact with the residents.  Are they friendly and do the residents look at ease around them?  Are residents receiving care and attention from the staff and are the residents enjoying themselves?  If you’re not seeing people enjoying themselves then your loved one probably won’t either.  Ask for event calendars and the admissions contracts from the home.  Are there enough activities to keep your loved one enjoying life?  Do they get out of the facility from time to time to enjoy other events?  Because you’re starting your search early you have plenty of time to review the contract in detail and ask questions of the home before making your decision.  You should also plan to visit the facility unannounced.  This will provide you a better understanding of what life will be like for your loved one and if the staff acts the same way towards residents when you’re not scheduled for a visit.

The next consideration is cost.  Ask for details on the cost for caring for your loved one and how it will change as your loved one requires more services.  Get details on how those decisions are made so it is clear to all parties when additional care may be required.  Calculate total cost for care for your loved one and see how it fits into the budget plans for your loved one’s care.

Finding the right home for your loved one is a big decision and can be very stressful.  But having a plan and starting early can mitigate a great deal of stress and help you and your loved one find the place he or she will call home.

For more information checkout our resources page for links and contact information on assisted living.